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An Update on Clair Lake

Dear Beechwood Residents,

On Monday Oct 6th, CLEAR asked City Council to delay approval of the staff report PWS2008-66 so that it could be re-written to accurately reflect the process for moving forward on this issue. We have met with City Representatives, including Mayor Halloran herself, and have now reached a consensus on that document (it is attached for those who wish to read it). City Council will be voting to approve the report next Monday Oct 20th and we urge you to attend and see this phase of the process completed (we have been promised that we will be the first item on the Agenda, so that we will not have to sit for 2 hours waiting for our issue this time).

So what is the process from this point forward? The city is going to appoint a Clair Lake Citizen's Task Force composed of representatives of all of the Beechwood Home Owners Associations, The Waterloo Trails Committee, the Environmental Action Coalition, the Part II requesters and the City at large, in addition to one councillor. City staff will advise the committee, as will representatives of the GRCA, the MNR, DFO and other agencies. The purpose of this committee will be to engage an engineering consultant to examine if it is possible to design an off-line pond system that is compatible with what the citizens criteria for the lake (this is 15 specific things we would like to see in the final lake design, including the size of the lake, stormwater control, control of algal blooms etc. We have this document and can circulate it to those interested). The consultant will also provide a cost for the design of an off-line pond system. We know that on the face of it, this looks like another step towards and off-line pond, but there is a subtext here and an understanding with the staff and council has developed. Council now realize that we citizens want the lake to stay on-line and most members of council are supportive of this. Unfortunately, due to the MOE approval, the city must gather key information before it can change its mind. While this Consultant will be examining the possibility of an off-line pond, they be gathering key data that is needed for the city to change its course of action (data that would be needed even for an on-line system, so this will not be $75,000 wasted - 85 to 90% of this data will be used for the on-line solution). City Councillors and staff believe that the engineering report will show that it is not possible to design an off-line system that will satisfy our criteria, especially not for the $751,000 spending limit that will be imposed in the report to be approved on Monday the 20th.

If, as staff and council indicate, the consultant report shows that an off-line system cannot be designed to meet our criteria or will cost over $751,000, then the city will move to an on-line option. It is estimated that the consultant will be done with his report in 9 months or so.

Given that much of the $75,000 for the consultant's report would need to be spent to proceed with an on-line option anyway and that the Citizen's Task Force is being given a lot of control over the situation, we will be supporting approval of the report on Monday. We hope you can joins us.

Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have questions about this.

Sincerely

Brian Dixon for CLEAR

________________________________________________

Brian Dixon
><((((o > Associate Professor ><((((o>
Associate Chair of Biology
Earth Sciences and Chemistry Building, Room 351B
Department of Biology
University of Waterloo
200 University Ave West
Waterloo, Ontario
Canada N2L 3G1
Ph. (519) 888-4567 x32665
Fax. (519) 746-0614
bdixon@uwaterloo.ca
http://www.biology.uwaterloo.ca/people/bdixon/index.html

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